Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Xbox 360, PS3 or Wii – My Vote

Well it just wouldn’t be a game programming blog without talking about the next generation consoles.

Microsoft Xbox 360 has been out for a while now, and the price starts at $300 for the trimmed down version. Sony PS3 is meant to be out in November it’s reportedly going to sell for $399. Nintendo Wii is out around the same time and should be ‘under $250’.

At E3 there were plenty of really nice looking games. Frankly though, they don’t excite me all that much. Multiplayer doesn’t float my boat (I’m a slow learner and bad looser). New shader effects get old pretty quick. And paying a million dollars for consoles and games just seems a bit much (I’m a slow learner, a bad looser, and cheap).

I’m most excited by the Nintendo Wii at the moment. The controller is totally new. This means more new and imaginative games will get made. Developers can’t just line up 100’s of first person shooters and driving games. Similar to Xbox 360 Arcade offering an alternative to normal full price games, Wii will provide a way of playing almost all Nintendo’s back catalogue of games. It’s also cheaper for the machine, and likely the commercial games too.

I think I’ll get a Wii first, and then pick up a PS3 or Xbox 360 later on when the price point comes down a bit, and the games are really getting good. Talking to people around the office, it seems almost a given that everyone will buy a Wii. It’s just a matter of whether to buy an Xbox 360 or PS3 to go with it.

Don’t get me wrong, Xbox 360 and PS3 are great machines, and more powerful than Wii. The Xbox 360 Arcade is a great move, and PS3 will likely have a few tricks up their sleeve too. I’m looking forward to the 360 and PS3 games too, but my heart belongs to Wii.

The Wii site is worth a look around if you haven’t been.

PS. To anyone developing an FPS for the Wii. Please strap a flashlight to the shotgun, and have the direction of the Wii controller point the torch around. Then reload the shotgun by holding the controller up and jerking down/up as if cocking the pump action slider. Mail me when it ships. Thanks. :)

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